Category Archives: Viva

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Different modes of transit in Greater Toronto – removing political spin and disinformation


Photo By Myke Waddy, Sept 5th 2006. Health Sci...

Photo By Myke Waddy, Sept 5th 2006. Health Sciences LRT Station, Edmonton, Alberta. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Explaining different modes of transit in the G.T.A; removing political spin and disinformation

Found a great article on transit through “What happens to public opinion when LRT is explained”. It is a great piece, which is quite informative. Take some time to read the article. Cherise Burda takes to time to explain the differences between subways, light rail, GO Trains, rapid bus and right-of-way streetcar modes of transit.

Markham is building for the future


A 2005 Van Hool newA330 stops at Warden Vivast...

A 2005 Van Hool newA330 stops at Warden Vivastation, in Markham, Ontario. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So Markham wants to build a 20000 seat arena and entertainment complex that will rival the Air Canada Centre. In a way it makes perfect sense. There has been a lot of talk around bringing an NHL team to Markham, however I believe Toronto residents and possibly the media have it backwards. I used to live in Markham and based on the makeup, demographics and changes in Toronto, I think it will do quite fine with or without a team. Markham is building a new downtown and the facility is part of the plan. With a large ethnic mix of Asian and South-Asian residents; along with the diversity of York Region and north Toronto, other uses are possible. It’s perfectly situated near the Unionville GO station and is well served by VIVA. I remember when prices for brownstone styled homes were listed at $400000. At the time I thought it was high, but now it seems like a bargain. Will it work, who really knows. The world does not only revolve around downtown Toronto. I believe that Markham politicians have recognized that the times are changing and they are betting that they will be on the right side of the future.

Poll shows that we want subways and we are willing to pay for it


The Toronto Transit Commission's bus #1303, a ...

The Toronto Transit Commission's bus #1303, a Daimler Buses North America/Orion Bus Industries Orion 07.501 "VII" NG HEV, travels west along St. Clair Avenue East on the 102 Markham Road route in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Greater Toronto Area supports a local sales tax dedicated to public transit and other infrastructure by 74%. Just when you though the transit debate was over in Toronto, we may be in for another round. In one corner Mayor Rob Ford who wants subways without taxes and on the other side council who wants taxes but no subways. As I said before there must be some compromise, but so far egos are prevailing. Both sides want to win, at the expense of others. If we plan on creating subways, with taxes, we should first look into a Downtown Relief Line and get something to help the Yonge line. I remember a while back wondering why council never looked into sending the Sheppard line south, through the Don Valley overground and running express to downtown; connecting at possibly York Mills, Lawrence, Eglinton and then express downtown. It should be interesting to see what debate turns up in Toronto council regarding this poll. Maybe we should forget Toronto and just fund transit initiatives in Peel, York and Durham region. It should be another interesting month in the G.T.A.

A great source for transit information – The LRT Information Blog


Subways North of Steeles

my photo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With transit in Toronto taking a back seat to casino expansion and red-light districts it’s nice to see that there is still action taking place outside of the G.T.A. In particular York Region and expansion of the Yonge line, north of Steeles and LRT expansion in Peel. With the Yonge line I am still a bit concerned about the load factors affecting affecting travel along the route. Toronto needs to seriously look into expansion of a Downtown Relief Line, as soon as possible; to ease the congestion on the Y-U-S. The Toronto LRT Information Page provides updates and commentary on both the Yonge Subway extension and the Brampton / Mississauga LRT expansion plans.

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Viva / YRT Strike over — Free transit for 2 months


With the over 3 month old strike finally over commuters in York region will receive almost 2 months of free transit. The move comes in response to York Region residents, who have endured a long protracted strike and no transit service. I don’t think Torontonian’s would have accepted such a long strike in the past. The strike showed that transit was not as much of an issue in York Region. The car is definitely still king throughout the region. However this is not to say that it did not adversely affect residents; who had to find alternative modes of transportation. YRT hopes to bring users back to public transit in York Region. It will be interesting to see if York Region councillors attempt to enact the same legislation, which finally made the TTC an essential service.

For more information please go to the York Region Transit website.

http://www.yrt.ca/en/

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Strike! Lots of confusion in York Region (YRT and VIVA)


There seems to be a lot of confusion over what is running and what is not in York Region. Details from the YRT/VIVA site are listed below, however there is much confusion over exactly which routes are not in operation. Some TTC routes, that go into Markham are still in operation.

Southeast Division (Miller Transit)

  • 51 YRT routes in the Towns of Markham, Richmond Hill and Whitchurch-Stouffville, with some routes in the City of Vaughan

North Division (First Canada)

  • 29 YRT routes in the Towns of Newmarket and Aurora with some routes in the Towns of Richmond Hill, East Gwillimbury and Georgina

Viva Division (York BRT Services)

  • Five Viva routes operating in the Towns of Markham, Richmond Hill, Aurora, Newmarket and the City of Vaughan
For more details click here or here. For details on the services unaffected by the strike, please review the information below.
  • Traveling on other YRT routes – The strike does not affect service along more than 30 YRT routes in the Southwest Divisionthat Veolia Southwest provides. These routes mostly serve the City of Vaughan, but also parts of the Towns of Aurora, Markham, Newmarket and Richmond Hill and the Township of King. You can find out whether buses operate along your route here.
  • Traveling on north / south TTC buses in York Region.
  • Traveling on GO Transit buses and trains and Brampton Transit Züm buses. (Brampton Transit may add extra service on the 501 Züm Queen route to help passengers that usually use the Viva orange service between Martin Grove Road and York University’s Keele Campus.)
Note: Seems it maybe best to catch a Go Bus, Go Train or at least try the 99 bus.

Conservatives and Toronto’s Rob Ford Nation – Subways please…


Interestingly enough this election may be a boon for the G.T.A. Not that Toronto can expect the Conservatives to only pander to their needs. As the Prime Minister said last night “we will govern for all Canadians“. Despite that the Liberals took for granted the support of Torontonians and the G.T.A. For years, we voted for the Liberals without our needs being heard. Now the Conservatives will have to listen. However, my take is the Conservatives will take a page out of Rob Ford‘s book. Rob said “we will get subways”. Will the Conservatives deliver? I imagine that they will have to. Why? Rob Ford nation is a powerful force. Although he is now mayor and tends to be on the right-wing of the political spectrum, Rob is not afraid to push his agenda and fight for what he believes. The Conservatives would be wise to not upset Toronto’s exalted leader. He wants subways and an end to waste. The Conservatives will have to deliver. He wants Toronto’s common-sense issues listened to. The Conservatives will have to deliver. The Conservatives can no longer ignore Toronto. The Prime Minister had a strategy to target the G.T.A and it worked. Albeit, a lot of vote splitting happened. It does not matter. They solidified their base, in the G.T.A and gained additional votes. You cannot take that away from the Conservatives. However, much care is needed. Ontarians are also sometimes not as forgiving. The Conservatives would be wise to not follow their Liberal predecessors. Do not take that vote for granted!

By Mannee Jay

What is the plan for Transit City now? GTA has worst commutes in 19-city survey


Commuters in the Greater Toronto Area suffer through longer round trips than their counterparts in 18 other major centres, including notoriously congested Los Angeles, according to a new report commissioned by the Toronto Board of Trade.

The board’s second annual “scorecard on prosperity” concluded the average GTA commute lasts a punishing 80 minutes for drivers and public-transit riders alike, putting the region an “embarrassing” last place behind not only L.A., but also the gridlocked metropolises of New York, London and Montreal.

“The report shows [commute times in the GTA] are getting worse,” said Carol Wilding, the president of the board of trade. “So there’s another clearly strong proof point and evidence that says they’re getting worse; we’ve underinvested. We’ve got to get on with it.”

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Transit City Cancelled?

Toronto’s commute times are the longest

Why transit is important in Toronto


I thought I would finish the night by giving you a link to a site that details the positives of light-rail. It is unfortunate that the government has decided to put an end to a visionary plan to get transit rolling in the city of Toronto. Like the former Harris government, the governing Liberals has killed plans to the Transit City project. Why so glum? Because like their predecessors and others examples in history, will they come back and really fund transit again? They have planned and planned again, to no avail. Then they wonder, in terms of planning, why people get frustrated. How are we to trust government again? Some things are worth investing in, and public transit is one of them. Unfortunately, I can easily see, like plans in the past; it will never see the light of day again. Sure, they will fund Sheppard and what is needed for the 2015 Pan Am Games, but it will not be as ambitious. For more on LRT and light-rail, read the Toronto LRT blog.

By Mannee Jay (The G.T.A Patriot)

Toronto Mayoral candidate Rossi plans on stopping all TTC Light-Rail (Transit City) Expansion


TTC LRT

New Light-Rail for Toronto

Have we learned nothing from history and the reasons why there is a lack of good public transit options in the city of Toronto? What about jobs for the people of Thunder Bay? Again, with another knee-jerk reaction we may loose all we wanted in the city of Toronto and public transit by electing Rossi. Remember, if this is the attitude we took in the past, we would never have had the full Bloor-Danforth line, Spadina extension or top-end of the Yonge line (even our network of Streetcars that make the city). In other words, if you think transportation is bad now, what do you think it would be like in the future?

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Rocco RossiToronto mayoral candidate pledges to make waves at city hall by banning bike lanes on major arteries and possibly quashing light-rail plan.

When Rocco Rossi vowed to banish bike lanes from major streets, the suit-and-tie crowd at the Empire Club event erupted into its most enthusiastic applause yet for the first real speech of the 2010 mayor’s race.

The line demonstrated that Mr. Rossi knows whom he’s after: right-leaning suburban voters fed up with David Miller’s city hall.

Mr. Rossi is promising to halt all but one of the city’s planned light-rail lines until he can review the project’s finances; to replace the Toronto Transit Commission’s board of councillors with private-sector experts; to create a region-wide economic development corporation; to sell assets, including Toronto Hydro; and to outsource city work in a bid to decrease the power of unions.

“Make no mistake, last summer’s city workers strike showed just how weak the city has become in the face of its major unions and how utterly without a plan we are to correct this imbalance,” the former Liberal fundraiser and businessman told a packed room at the Royal York hotel. “As mayor I will bring us back into balance by pursuing outsourcing and managed competition for certain city services.”

Mr. Rossi’s speech was unusual for making concrete commitments early in the marathon campaign, leaving his competitors 10 months to savage his proposals. They didn’t waste time.

“I’m glad to see he’s throwing out 1,000 ideas and seeing what sticks,” scoffed Joe Pantalone, the deputy mayor who is running to replace his boss. “But this is not a carnival we’re talking about here. This is a city that’s complicated.”

Mr. Rossi drew the most fire for suggesting he might halt the Transit City plan, even temporarily.

In his speech, Mr. Rossi lamented the delays and cost overruns that plagued the construction of a streetcar right-of-way on St. Clair West, but it wasn’t until afterward that he expressed his concerns about Toronto’s plan to lay 120 kilometres of light rail on dedicated lanes.

“I think there’s some real problems that have been shown by what’s happened at St. Clair and I think we’d be foolish not to have a deep and long look at that,” he told reporters.

Asked whether that constituted a moratorium, he replied: “On anything that we can stop right now, yes.” Only one Transit City line, Sheppard East, has broken ground so far.

“Mr. Rossi’s suggestion that he would freeze all new transit projects until he has reviewed the city budget would not only put countless constructions jobs at risk, it reflects a troubling lack of understanding of the city’s finances,” a senior member of George Smitherman’s campaign said. “These projects are funded almost entirely by the province, sometimes with federal help.” Mr. Smitherman, the former deputy premier, is the race’s early front-runner.

The centre-right voters Mr. Rossi is hoping to attract likely would have voted for former Ontario Progressive Conservative leader John Tory.

But Mr. Rossi will have to run a campaign vastly different from Mr. Smitherman’s if he hopes to make the leap from virtual unknown to mayor. For now, he’s casting his lack of elected experience as an advantage.

“It’s been over a hundred years since we elected a mayor who wasn’t already in elected politics,” he told the crowd. “Maybe, just maybe, that’s part of the problem.”

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York Region Viva bus service ends Wednesday September 25 2008 at 4am – No service in York Region


 

VIVA on strike for Wednesday

VIVA on strike for Wednesday

680News staff | Wednesday, September 24th, 2008 7:42 pm

 

Thirty-five-thousand commuters in York Region will have to find another way to work or school come Thursday morning.

That’s because Viva bus drivers will go on strike starting at 4 a.m.

Union members turned down a tentative settlement by 61 per cent, Wednesday, and that group represents 165 bus operators.

In a press release, Bob Kinnear, President of ATU Local 113, which represents the bus drivers said “we are a democratic union and our members have spoken.”

He added “Veolia management [the company that runs Viva Transit] knew that the strike would being tomorrow (Thursday) if their offer was turned down and I have informed them of the results of the vote.”

The major issues in negotiations are wages and sick time.

At this point no further talks have been scheduled.

All York Region Transit (YRT) buses will continue to run as usual because they are not part of Viva Transit.

read more | digg story